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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -
New information released Friday in the murder of Kaitlin Gerber sheds some light on the days leading up to her death. Evidence lists show that the victim had filed for official protection from the man who would ultimately take her life. However, police interviews show that the two still had regular contact with each other despite those protections.
Gerber's ex-boyfriend Jashua Perz shot and killed her in the parking lot of the Southland Shopping Center on Sunday March 24, as Gerber sat in her car. A dazed Perz called 911, holed up in his house, then killed himself later that day, after an hours-long standoff with Maumee police.
The tragic events of that day left investigators with more questions than answers.
Now two weeks after the murder-suicide, police have released 30 pages of reports, evidence lists and more than 80 witness statements about the case. The information provides some context to the relationship between Gerber and Perz.
An evidence list says Gerber had a copy of a protection order, filed against Perz in Lucas County Court of Common Pleas, in her pocket when she died. The list also shows that Gerber had a receipt for a piece of jewelry - an engagement ring. Investigators later found that ring in Perz's car.
A police interview with Gerber's mother says the two were engaged and that they often exchanged text messages and talked on the phone despite the order.
"When I realized this was Katy, the shock is overwhelming, the devastation, the tragedy. This was a wonderful person just starting her life and it's gone by a monster," said Scott Weaver, Pastor at Whispering Winds Church in Maumee, where Gerber had attended services for several years.
Weaver says Gerber stopped attending services in the weeks leading up to her death, fearing her ex-boyfriend might harm her or others at the church.
"She was afraid of putting other people in danger. Again, shows what an amazing person she is. Her first thought was others," said Weaver.
"She was real lovable and kind-hearted," said Macie Zeller, who grew up with Gerber. "It just hurts that someone would get taken this way, because nobody deserves this."